Worker Owned Academy

Next one: February 2, 9, 16 and 23 from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. PST
All four days: $60 (scholarships available)

In our Worker Owned Academy, people who are serious about starting a cooperative take skill-building classes that initiate your planning and development process. Scroll down for a Course Overview.

Qualified groups who complete the Academy may be selected to enter into our Worker Owned Incubator for one-on-one business development support.

The Academy is supported by the North Coast Small Business Development Center, and the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives, which provides curriculum, peer support, mentorship, and legal support. 

Course Overview

Session 1: Foundations for Co-op Development

  • Describe your co-op idea
  • Describe the 7 Cooperative Principles
  • Experience power dynamics in group decision making
  • Begin thinking about democratic leadership

Session 2: Building a Steering Committee

  • Describe a broad initial plan for developing a steering committee
  • Outline some of the roles and responsibilities for steering committee members
  • Consider the stages of starting a cooperative

Session 3: Distributed Democratic Leadership and Management

  • Begin evaluating the financial basis of your co-op
  • Consider the division of responsibilities for business planning
  • Practice consensus decision making

Session 4: Legal Structures for Worker Owned Cooperatives

  • Consider feasibility studies and business plans
  • Connect to additional business training
  • Compare Cooperative Corporations with LLCs
  • Review Bylaws and Operating Agreements
  • Research financing options